Our Governance

Dairy Trust Taranaki has 15 Trustees who make up our Board of Governance. This comprises of nine Trustees who have been appointed for a three year term through recommendation of a Nominations Committee and five Trustees who are appointed from our Appointing Entities. The Trust also currently has one co-opted Trustee

Duncan Johnston


Duncan was born and raised on a town supply dairy farm in the Manawatu. Studied Applied Science in AgriBusiness at Massey University. After completion worked for NZ AgriTech company Tru-Test for 8 years in Auckland and North America in various sales and marketing roles. Moved back to the family farm in 2003 and then moved to current farm in Waverley after converting the farm in 2007/2008. Became involved with the TARS research farm around 2010 and was involved in the formation of the DTT. Other governance roles include school board, Junior rugby and Waverley Racing club.

Paul Kuriger

Paul has been farming for more than 30 years in various positions around Taranaki. After meeting his wife Lynelle 22 years ago they expanded their business by going share milking in the central plateau. They currently own a dairy farm in Mahoe and one in Opunake.

Paul has been on the Stratford Demonstration Farm board for 22 years and is currently the Chairman. Before this he was in YFC and held all club, zone and regional chair positions. Paul and Lynelle enjoy musical theatre as well as tramping and camping at a hut on their farm with their three teenage children.

Sarah Avery

Sarah is our new Trustee from Taranaki Young Farmers.  Sarah has a B. Ag Com from Massey university and is currently managing a farm near Inglewood.  She is also the Chairperson of Taranaki Young Farmers.

Jamie Swan

Jamie Swan owns a dairy farm under Mt Taranaki with her husband, Alister, and three children. Jamie is a member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand and brings a strong governance focus to strategy, risk, and board effectiveness. Jamie’s dairy career started in the USA while completing university, with Fonterra USA, importing dairy ingredients for the local market, eventually immigrating to New Zealand to continue supporting Fonterra’s global transformation programme. After meeting her husband in 2006, she settled in Taranaki where she enjoys bush walks, exploring local beaches and being with family.

Tracee Judd

Now retired from dairy farming.  Tracee and her husband Alastair farmed for 34 years on a small 200 cow farm near Manaia.  In the 1980’s she graduated from Lincoln University with a Diploma in Agriculture and a Diploma in Field Technology.  She worked as a dairy science technician at the Taranaki Agricultural Research Station from 1987-1995.  Tracee has always held a keen interest in dairy science and many innovations she learned, were implemented on her own farm.

In the final four years on the farm, Tracee and Alastair made the change to autumn calving which proved to be highly profitable and was a healthy change for their animals and themselves.

Donna Cram

Donna Cram

Donna completed a BBS, majoring in Accounting and is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ. She has a Diploma in Agribusiness Management and recently completed the Intermediate Nutrient Management Certificate at Massey University.

Self-starters, Donna (a third generation dairy farmer) and her husband Philip own a 117ha Dairy farm in Awatuna, South Taranaki, which she plays an active role in. Donna is founder and Chair of Taranaki Catchment Communities and also leads her local catchment community Awatuna/Auroa Farming for the Future. She has also been part of DairyNZ Dairy Environment Leaders programme for the past 5 years and is one of 14 Farmer Climate Change Ambassadors (a DairyNZ initiative) throughout the country.

Donna also does some private consulting. In 2021 she graduated from the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT)  Escalator programme.

Donna has been involved with governance roles for many community organisations. She is passionate about sustainable agriculture including people, rural communities, profitability and the environment.

Shane Ardern

Shane Ardern farms two dairy farms in coastal Taranaki with his wife Cathy in equity partnership with his two sons Jonathan and Cameron.
Shane is the former Member of Parliament for the Taranaki King country Electorate.
He has served on many different committees both local and in central Government.
He is a former Chair of the Primary production select committee, The Government administration select committee, the agriculture caucus committee.
Shane served on many different Federated farmers’ committee positions and on other local district committees.

Shane believes The Taranaki Dairy Trust can serve a vital role in the development of well researched science based farming practices for Taranaki and New Zealand.
These will be essential for the New Zealand economy and the district of Taranaki to maintain a desirable lifestyle for all going forward.
The importance of the Agricultural selector has never been as great as it is now and cannot be overstated.

Bryan Roach

Bryan is a new addition to Dairy Trust Taranaki and is the South Taranaki District Council Appointed Trustee. Bryan milks 600 cows in the Opunake district and has been a Councillor for 10 years.

Roger Landers

Roger Is a Business Manager with PKW Farm’s LP and oversees 10 farms dairy and dairy support blocks.
Roger is married to Julie and have three adult children and live on their 82 ha dairy farm just out from Kaponga.
He has been involved with this trust and one of its predecessors Waimate west Demo Trust since 2008.
He completed a Kellogg rural leader course in 2012
He was the chairman of a 26 member Equity dairy farm in the South Waikato for 10 years, selling that property in 2018. Roger supports new technology and seeks/supports regional and national research for the benefit of rural New Zealand.

Jessie Waite

Deputy Chair

Jessie joined Dairy Trust Taranaki at the end of 2019, as the New Zealand Young Farmers representative.
Born and bred in Taranaki, Jessie has a real passion for the Primary Sector and its people.
Jessie is the Taranaki Regional Partner for OSPRI NZ and is a member of the New Zealand Young Farmers’ Board.
In 2018, Jessie won the New Zealand Young Farmers Excellence Award for her efforts in drought relief for Taranaki farmers, and also her involvement in the wider sector.

Hayden Lawrence

Hayden is dairy farming just south of Eltham where he owns and operates a 420 cow farm with his wife Alecia and their three young children.

Before going dairy farming, 10 years ago Hayden completed a PhD in Precision Agriculture and undertook the development and rollout of the Rapid Pasture Meter, for which he holds the patent. He also worked as the Innovations manager for C-Dax Systems.

Hayden has a passion for agricultural research and loves finding the balance between the research process and the commercial realities of farming.

Jo Bishell

Jo, her husband Dion and their three children, live and farm in South Taranaki. They are 50:50 sharemilking 870 cows across two properties.
Jo has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Farm Systems and management from Massey University.

Jo was a consulting officer for DairyNZ and the Taranaki Regional manager. With the growth of their business and the family, she moved into farm consultancy.
In 2017, Jo and Dion won the Taranaki Share Farmer of the Year. Since then she has been heavily involved in the management of the awards program in Taranaki until retiring in 2020.

Mark Laurence

Mark is the DairyNZ appointee to the DTT board.  He feels extremely privileged to hold this position as the regional science and research done by the trust is second to none in New Zealand.  The fact that Taranaki has 4 research farms with such diversity is brilliant and offered the trust a platform to do research that is very rare even with Government organisations let alone a volunteer based trust. Mark enjoys being able to work along side farmers who freely give their time and expertise for the betterment of the Taranaki dairy industry.

Daniel Butler

Dan was born and bred in Taranaki, with his family farming in Kapuni. He graduated from Victoria University  with a degree in Criminology and Education and after working for the Department of Corrections for 5 years returned to Taranaki to take up a position with LIC. Dan held various roles within LIC over a 6 year period.   In 2022 he opted for a career change and moved into Rural Real Estate.

Dan is very passionate about all things dairy and is excited about what the future holds for the industry. He believes Dairy Trust Taranaki will play a vital role through its research in providing direction for future sustainable and profitable farming practices within Taranaki and across the country.

Dan lives in New Plymouth with his wife and two sons and is also a Trustee for Taranaki Rural Support Trust.

Nicola McCarthy

Nicola comes from a farming background and after completing an Agricultural Science degree at Massey University, managed to secure a job with Fonterra.

Over the last 17 years Nic has worked for the Co-op and held roles in health and safety, compliance, project management and dairy operations. More recently she has taken on the role of Regional Head for Farm Source Taranaki.

Nic is passionate about all things Fonterra, the dairy industry and her people. She’s always up for a good yarn – stakeholder communications is a favourite part of her role.

Outside of work you can find Nic, Paul and her two boys not far from a fishing rod, white bait net or a lake boat!